Saturday, 31 July 2010

Cambridge Folk Festival Invades 2UIBestow [Friday Review]

This weekend on the blog I'm delighted that singer and songwriter from Cork Maria Byrne will be reviewing the Cambridge Folk Festival directlky from the festival for 2UIBestow. Maria has released an excellent EP this year which resulted in Jo Whiley describing it as 'Sweet Sweet Music'.

So Friday opened with a Scottish ceilidh band complete with piper called Breabach. A good turnout blew away the cobwebs of last night's festivities dancing to their footstomping reels.

Next up on the main stage was The Quebe Sisters. Consisting of three sisters (Grace, Sophie and Hulda Quebe), a guitarist and a double bassist, their choice and interpretation of covers was simply excellent. The sisters, all accomplished fiddlers, sing in close harmony which brings to mind 1940s big band classics. Their cover of Les Paul's 'How High The Moon' was superb, putting to use the three fiddles in place of Les Paul's electric guitar layers on the record. Their version of 'Georgia on my Mind' is certainly one to check out.

Sharon Shannon took to the stage with her band. I've seen Sharon many times before, and Imelda May once or twice but never together so I was intrigued to see how this was going to work. Sharon played a couple of the old favourites including Blackbird before asking Imelda to join her for a song they recorded together, Go Tell the Devil, on Sharon's latest Album Saints and Scoundrels. Before the song even started I'm impressed as Imelda told the audience it had been recorded in Sharon's kitchen with the double bassist in the toilet! Their collaboration worked really really well, each musician in the band having a turn at a solo. What I really love about Sharon is that she looks at the band as she plays always smiling you just think there is a band really enjoying themselves. Joined by Imelda who has enough charisma to charm even the weariest of hearts these two ladies exceeded already high expectations.

The early evening slot saw a typically rousing set from now veteran Cambridge hero Seth Lakeman. Much of the set was made up of tracks from his latest album 'Hearts and Minds' before he finished with the ever-popular Kitty Jay.

So the debate began whether to watch Seasick Steve or a band none of us had seen before called Mama Rosin. In the end the rain forced our hand over to stage 2 for the lesser known folksters. The cajun/blues trio from Switzerland took arrived with banjo, melodeon and guitar, we even got a dose of washboard later on in the set! Upbeat and energetic, within the first three songs any thoughts of the torrential rain outside the tent were forgotten. Musically, their mix of rock and roll with traditional instruments made for a different exciting set - a definite festival highlight.

To close out the second stage was The Wonder Stuff. Not what you would class as a 'folk' band, but they offered a violinist in the form of the dainty Erica Nockalls which would have satisfied the die hards. It also worked really well when Miles took to the stool for some acoustic tracks from his back catalogue. The high point of their set would have to be the popular 'size of a cow', but the inclusion of a dedication to the late Kirsty McCall was a really lovely way to end day two.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Album Review: Peter Doran - Sleepless Street

Second Album from Mullingar's Peter Doran is an instantly likeable album of mature ballads, wonderful vocals and insightful lyrics.

I seen Peter Doran support Nick Kelly in Whelans well over a year ago and discovered his debut album 'Wood' relatively recently. 'Wood' is a very ambitious debut full of big sounds. In contrast 'Sleepless Street' finds Peter Doran singing delicate beautifully arranged songs accompanied by strings. The mood created by the Cello in particular within the album reminds me a lot of Damien Rice's 'O'.

The album kicks off with the big sound of 'Hunter's Sketches' which doesn't do much for me to be honest. The next three songs however are wonderful. In particular 'Pathways' which would be on regular rotation if I were the controller of music for a radio station. It's a great song with a catchy guitar rift, background cello strings and the vocal melodies any songwriter would be proud of. 'Pathways' for me is the main track on the album and worth the price of the album alone!

The next song to grab my attention is the Mic Christopher sounding 'The Composer'. It has that swagger in the song which can automatically make the body move. It's a song about the challenge of being a composer of songs and letting them go into the world!

Even when the sound is stripped back to just Peter's vocals and guitars the results are gripping such as in the song 'Steeped in You'. I find it very easy to be transported through the stories in each of the songs on 'Sleepless Street' due to Peter's fine vocals. To make an ultimate comparison I think Peter's vocals are the close to David Gray's vocals from 'White Ladder' era.

'Sleepless Street' is a quality album of intelligent songs sung by a singer with a great voice. It has upbeat rock tracks, delicate ballads, piano based tracks, strings, gripping lyrics and even concludes with an epic seven minutes plus swooning ballad which gave the album it's title. If you're a fan of people like Make Geary, Tom Baxter, Mic Christopher etc. then this album is right up your street!

Peter Doran - Sleepless Street [11 out of 12]



Buy The Album -

Listen to Pathways:

<a href="">Pathways by Peter Doran</a>

Cambridge Folk Festival Invades 2UIBestow [Thursday Review]

This weekend on the blog I'm delighted that singer and songwriter from Cork Maria Byrne will be reviewing the Cambridge Folk Festival directlky from the festival for 2UIBestow. Maria has released an excellent EP this year which resulted in Jo Whiley describing it as 'Sweet Sweet Music'.

Hello to the lot of ye!

We are at Cambridge folk festival 2010 so myself (Maria Byrne) and Dave (of the Daves) will be here on Peter's blog every day for the next four to keep you up to date.

So it's early on Thursday, my first impression is that Cambridge is very much a family friendly intimate festival, with two main stages and a capacity of 10.000. In its 46th year it's definitely grown from the 1,400 that came here in 1964. I've heard the festival is busier this year than any other which reflects the thriving folk scene at the moment.

The first band to open the festival are a duo from Cambridge called Ezio. Ezio are a good example of Cambridge's choice to book not only 'folk' acts but more alternative stuff too. Their sound is bluesy/rock and with one electric and one acoustic they also manage to produce a big percussive sound. The second stage is the smaller of the two, and already packed above and beyond capacity. Maybe they could be accused of starting a bit slow, or maybe it was our salivating over excitement to see some music but they soon upped the tempo to kick off Cambridge 2010.

The next band were a 10 piece Cornish sea-shanty band from Port Isaac called Fisherman's Friends. This band were high on my expectation list and definitely did not disappoint. Imagine a welsh male voice choir meets sea shanty's meets folk music and you're there. Ranging from sing along foot-stompy tunes to slower hit you right in the heart numbers, they had the crowd absolutely in the palm of their hands. Unaccompanied, these 10 lads sang some of the most amazing harmonies I have ever heard (and I love a good harmony). In between songs John Cleave (who I guess might be the nominated story teller of the group) kept the crowd entertained with tales of the sea, and a few inuendo's thrown in for good measure. Standing in line, each member takes the lead across a range of songs, one of which was 'Pay me my Money down' which went down like a house on fire. A rendition of 'Sloop John B' was recieved with an almighty roar and to finish 'South Australia' left the bass notes echoing in my rib cage right to the end. You could tell immediately that the impact of this band on a hungry folk audience was huge, and I honestly felt like I could go home from the festival now happy. I had a little chat to the band afterwards about Ireland and the music scene at home, my draw dropped slightly when they told me they have never played there before. They then asked me 'Do you think they'd like us?' to which my reply was ' get on the plane, now'.

Next up was Lissie, who has been climbing her way to the front of the ticker tape with the rest of lady singers slowly and steadily this year. Having been joined on stage at sxsw with Ellie Goulding, and praised on Jools Holland by none other than Courtney Love, she's definitely on the right path to the spotlight. Lissie has a Fleetwood Mac/Katie Tunstall type sound which stands her out against the rest but her voice is immediately engaging - like instant soul, is there such thing as instant soul? Each song was met to rapturous applause, finishing with 'When I'm Alone' (my personal fave) her single from earlier this year.

Last up we have Stornoway. If I heard 'hotly tipped to follow Mumford & Sons' once, I heard it a million times. Having seen Stornoway a few times I'm already a big fan, but I have a bit of a problem with the M & S's comparison because they are nothing like them, except that they are both young english folk bands. The essence of the band's songs are folk, but there are definitely a few Buddy Holly-esque pop tinges in there. They started off the set slowly picking up as they went on - 'Fuel Up' is a great track live as is the earlier single from this year 'Zorbing' which they ended with and had the whole tent dancing.

So that was the music for day one, but other than the stages at Cambridge there is a lot of spontaneous breaking into song, weird and wonderful people abound playing various instruments (we had our breakfast this morning to the tune of a hurdy gurdy (!!) from the neighbouring tent) and I've never seen the likes of the get up as my mother would say.

Today we'll see our irish favourites Sharon Shannon and Imelda May along with Seth Lakeman, Seasick Steve and The Unusual Suspects. See you tomorrow!

Maria & Dave

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Album Review: Resurrection Fern - Transcend Mortality

Full of charm and warm fuzzy folk from Athlone band Resurrection Fern. This album will be assured of a place in my best of 2010 lists.

Resurrection Fern is Bean Dolan accompanied by a whole host of various musicians. Many of the musicians on the album are members of UK folk band Jukebox Gypsy. The one problem about naming your project after an Iron & Wine song is that it'll be the first place you'll arrive at when looking for easy comparisons which obviously do exist. I feel the distinct difference between Resurrection Fern and Iron & Wine is the multi vocal harmonies which are present on many of the tracks including the main track on the album entitled 'Brothers':

Resurrection Fern - Brothers by 2uibestow

The better songs on the album are those uplifting tracks like 'Hummingbird Hearts' 'Wall' and the opener 'Something Unlike Love'. I particularly love the refraining lyrics at the end of 'Brothers' and at the outro to 'Stay in the Sun'. The quality dips a little when the tempo slows as I find Bean's voice doesn't grab my attention in the same way as the up tempo tracks. The vocals do require the supportive harmonies or an increase in tempo.

Transend Mortality ends with an excellent Irish folk instrumental which brings me to green fields in the middle of Namaland. Overall there's real quality here in this album and in a different time would become a hit in the folk world. I think this album is worth the money I spent on it ..... [€10] and will be a keeper that I'll return back to again and again.

Resurrection Fern - Transend Mortality [11 out of 12]

Arthur's Day - New Artists Announced

.... I want to blog Guinness Just Fuck Off

.... but that would be childish and well there really is nothing better than a pint of plain ....

I really dislike the way these 'Our Thursday' gigs are going. I can only imagine how soul destroying it must be for an artist or band to get kicked out of the competition because you didn't bring enough mates and family with you! Especially if you get knocked out to a band that is shite!

Anyway it's a recession and Guinness want their product sold and look after their interests while apparently giving new bands a helping hand ......

St James's Gate

Bands: Snow Patrol, Guinness Our Thursdays Finalist plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

Studio Venues

The six larger official Arthur's Day Studio venues will showcase an exclusive named Arthur's Day line up of several bands and artists.

Folan Quay, Galway Harbour

Bands: Newton Faulkner, Magic Numbers, Sharon Shannon, Guinness Our Thursdays Finalist plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

Wow The Magic Numbers must have shares in Guinness for them to be playing for a second year running .... or maybe this is the only way they'll ever play a sold out gig?

The Savoy, Cork

Bands: Paolo Nutini, KT Tunstall, The View, Slow Club, O Emperor and Our Thursdays Finalist

Tickets: €10

Waterford's fine band O Emperor

The Academy, Dublin

Bands: Brandon Flowers, Plan B, Jose Gonzales, Eliza Doolittle plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

The Olympia, Dublin

Bands: Carbon/Silicon, Our Thursdays Finalist plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

Vicar Street, Dublin

Bands: The Maccabees, The Hoosiers, Fortune plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

The Village, Dublin

Bands: Kelis, Tinie Tempah, Example, We Have Band plus very special guests

Tickets: €10

You do have to take your hat off to the PR department in Guinness. What an excellent line-up!

To Arthur for 251 years!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Jennifer Evans: Scattered [Official Video]

I massively encourage you to check out this video by an amazing folk singer Jennifer Evans. This song 'Scatterd' is just so beautiful and hints at a great debut album from Jennifer Evans later on this year.


Friday, 23 July 2010

Peter Doran Invades 2UIBestow [Part 5]

Peter Doran is a Mullingar singer and songwriter of immense talent who is in the process of releasing his second album entitled "Sleepless Street". Check out for more details. This week I'm delighted that Peter has agreed to be the guest blogger.

Recording Sleepless Street

Today sees the worldwide digital release of my second album "Sleepless Street" on itunes/amazon and other major digital stores.

It was recorded and will be released independently. So to mark the occasion I thought I'd speak a little about the recording process for this album.

The first recording session for "Sleepless Street" took place in Tuscany, Italy last September. I had been invited by Producer Filippo Gaetani, who a few weeks previous had discovered some of my demo recordings online. The first songs we worked on were "Hunter's Sketches", "Sacred Place" and "Pathways". For these tracks we had the pleasure of working with the very talented Colorado-based drummer Brian McRae. We worked very quickly in the few days we had together. It was quite strange to be working on recordings with a guy half the world away. We recorded guide guitar and vocals in Tuscany and then sent the files via Internet to Brian. We would offer him some suggestions and direction and then he would go ahead and record the drums and send them back to us. It was a cool way to work, and I love the drum sound and performances on these tracks.

We then arranged and booked some studio time at Grouse Lodge Studios in Westmeath. It was here we recorded the bulk of the album. It was amazing to be recording in the same rooms that have been used by Michael Jackson, Muse, Snow Patrol etc. Filippo flew in from Italy to produce the sessions. It was a spectacularly cold January, and it took a while to get instruments and hands warmed up and primed for action! But once we got moving and in full flow there was no stopping us. Over the course of 3 days we got major work done on seven tracks from the album. Drum and Bass duties were handled by my good friends and band members Barry Coyle and Cani Bruton. Filippo and I both played some electric and acoustic guitars.

I had my first experience of recording piano on "When You Can" and "Eternity", it was pretty scary but I'm proud of how they turned out. These two songs also benefited from some beautiful Cello playing by Gerard Toal. We recorded hours and hours of material. These various takes and arrangements were all transferred onto Filippo's hard-drive and he headed back to Europe to try make sense of it all!

This was followed by many sessions at VeeBee studios in Mullingar where we recorded lots of additional guitars, vocals and bits and pieces. We also spent a day in the beautiful Hellfire Studios in the Dublin Mountains where we put down strings for "Sacred Place", "Pathways" and "Someone Else's Heart". At this stage we were very nearly finished... For the next step on the journey I flew To Vienna in Austria to hook up with Filippo again and finish up all remaining vocals and other minor overdubs. This was around the time of the volcano ash cloud that had brought air travel to a halt across Europe. Which resulted in me being stuck in Vienna for an extra few days and getting some really nice vocal takes recorded. So it all worked out well.

The very final stage of the album was to take it to Abbey Road Studios in London for mastering. Here we ran it through the very best of audio equipment! The same console that was used for the recent Beatles remasters no less! This stage I felt really brought the album together as a cohesive unit, and gave all the recordings a very warm and creamy quality that I love.

So there you have it, a blow-by-blow account of the making of a record. It was a fun journey, and I hope you can enjoy the results.

~Peter Doran

"Sleepless Street" is available now on itunes

Listen or Buy here and now from Bandcamp!

<a href="">Hunter's Sketches by Peter Doran</a>

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Peter Doran Invades 2UIBestow [Part 4]

Peter Doran is a Mullingar singer and songwriter of immense talent who is in the process of releasing his second album entitled "Sleepless Street". Check out for more details. This week I'm delighted that Peter has agreed to be the guest blogger.

My relationship with Football

Aside from Music, one of my other major loves would be sport. To be more accurate : Football. When I was younger I was very eager, and I would have called myself a Manchester United fan.

I don't know exactly when it was but I can remember players like Cantona, Hughes, Ince, Bruce and Giggs all being major players at the time.

At some point in my teenage years music cut into my life in a big way and took centre stage and all of my attention. I became oblivious to almost everything and my sporting life was put on hold. I didn't watch and I certainly didn't play... I went many years without so much as a glance at the beautiful game! It's only in the last few years that I re found my love for it.

Both my Father and younger brother are long-term Tottenham Hotspur fans. This proved to be my route back into the world of football. It started innocently at first, and then before I knew it I was completely possessed and shouting my lungs out with 36,000 other lunatics in White Hart Lane (Spurs home ground in London).

It always amazes me how people become so attached to a sport and a team. We get totally infatuated and invested in the whole affair. Much like following a band or musician. You're always waiting for new song/albums/tours etc. With Football you're just as eager for the next game / result / transfer rumour etc. But it's much more of a roller coaster ride with sport I find...

When you're totally hooked. Your nerves are torn to shreds, the highs are spectacular and the lows are sickening. But this is what we sign up for. I for one can't wait to go through it all again.

Roll on the new Season!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Peter Doran Invades 2UIBestow [Part 3]

Peter Doran is a Mullingar singer and songwriter of immense talent who is in the process of releasing his second album entitled "Sleepless Street". Check out for more details. This week I'm delighted that Peter has agreed to be the guest blogger.

My Favourite 5 Books of all time (In no particular order)

* Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts
* Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
* East of Eden - John Steinbeck
* One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
* Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie

Today I want to share with you 5 of the best books I've had the pleasure of reading. I find I go through phases with books. Sometimes I can go on a great run and get lucky with a string of great reads. Other times I get stuck with the same book for months on end, and I can't get into the groove at all. These 5 books have all made a big impression on me, and I would not hesitate to recommend them to anybody. So if you're on the look out for something new to start reading, why not dive into one of these classics! I think I might rediscover one of them myself soon!


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Peter Doran Invades 2UIBestow [Part 2]

Peter Doran is a Mullingar singer and songwriter of immense talent who is in the process of releasing his second album entitled "Sleepless Street". Check out for more details. This week I'm delighted that Peter has agreed to be the guest blogger.

Today I'd like to talk a little about songwriting.

Songwriting, like any craft, is something that can be developed and honed, improved and perfected. But it's a tricky business all the same. To me, the most precious thing about a song is the spark that starts it off... the trigger. It can be a very elusive thing to track down. In fact generally you can't. If you go hunting for an idea, totally focused and determined to write something, you rarely come out with anything of note. You search and dig and scratch your head furiously, yet nothing inspires. So I think there's a lot to be said for being patient with songwriting, or maybe just lucky!

Most often I find the song or at least the early rumblings of one will come to you when you're not actively searching. Some will start with a word or a phrase, others with a melody. With lyrics, often something will happen that will send your thoughts in a certain direction. Then maybe you can't stop thinking about this one thing and you have to make a song, a place to house the ideas. The behaviour of the musical muse can be just as difficult to predict! One day your fretboard looks like the most dull and thoroughly over-harvested thing you've ever seen. The next it seems full of new and wonderful possibilities where anything can happen. These are the good days :)

Then you push on and try to write as much as you can, they won't all be good, but hopefully you'll learn a little with each new effort. Maybe if you're very lucky, what you've done might resonate with someone out there.

Here's a song called "The Composer" taken from my new album, which deals with the idea of writing & creating. Hope you like it.


<a href="">The Composer by Peter Doran</a>

Monday, 19 July 2010

Peter Doran Invades 2UIBestow [Part 1]

Peter Doran is a Mullingar singer and songwriter of immense talent who is in the process of releasing his second album entitled "Sleepless Street". Check out for more details. This week I'm delighted that Peter has agreed to be the guest blogger.

First off, Thanks to Peter for inviting me along to share some thoughts with you this week. I am honoured.

When asked to lend my musings to the 2uibestow blog for this week, I got to thinking quite a bit about the Irish music scene, and my introduction to it about ten years ago.

I realised that one of my earliest memories as a gig-goer was going to see Mundy play in his home town of Birr some time around 1999. Jelly Legs, as far as I can recall, was freshly released.

I remember the night relatively clearly; it was a solo gig, Mundy was set up in the corner of the room, he played hard on his guitar and filled the air with song. The crowd in good spirits and voice gave their all in singing back. I hadn't started writing any of my own songs at this stage but I don't doubt that this show may have got the wheels turning on the concept!

The "Jelly Legs" album remains to this day my favourite Mundy release, boasting such song writing treasures as "Gin & Tonic Sky", "Reunion" and of course the wonderful "To You I bestow".

So, today I would like to share with you my interpretation of the song that gives this blog it's name.
I hope you enjoy it!

Speak soon,


Peter Doran - To You I Bestow (Mundy Cover) by 2uibestow

Thursday, 1 July 2010

10 Best Irish Songs of 2010 so far!

I'm shutting up shop until at least July 10th and I decided I'd leave with a mix of the best 10 songs I've heard this year from Irish artists.

1. Resurrection Fern - Brothers

I seen Bean Dolan aka Resurrection Fern support The Jukebox Gypsys in Boyles a few weeks back when he played this beautifully written tune. The lyrics are deep and the harmonies are so majestic especially at the end of the track.

Resurrection Fern - Brothers by 2uibestow

2. Anthony Furey The Young Folk - Sad Day

Anthony Furey's debut album will be in my top 10 of the year. It's an honest album of simple but effective tunes. Sad Day is a great opening track.

Anthony Furey & The Young Folk - Sad Day by 2uibestow

3. Burning Codes - Can You Hear The Sound

The Burning Codes album is superb and needs to be checked out. Here's the best track from the album!

Burning Codes - Can You Hear The Sound by 2uibestow

4. El Hombre Jokes - Just Don't Get Along

El Hombre Jokes are a great band with really great tunes. I love their sound and their ambition. This band will make it!

EL Hombre Jokes - Just Don't Get Along by 2uibestow

5. Bellajane - Egg Shells

I regularly listen to Bellajane's debut EP entitled No Strings. The vocals are great and the songs are quality.

Bellajane - Egg Shells by 2uibestow

6. Eric Eckhart - Lost

American born Eric Eckhart who is now Berlin based released a fine debt album this year. Much of the album was written while Eric was living here. Here's a brilliant radio friendly song which needs to be listened to!

Lost by Eric Eckhart

7. Fiach - Stop

'Stop' is my favourite track from Fiachs fine debut album released earlier this year.

Fiach - Stop by 2uibestow

8. The Dirty 9s - Trouble

The Dirty 9's are one of the best bands I've had the pleasure of seeing live this year. While I didn't fully connect with their debut album I love this album closer.

The Dirty 9s - Trouble by 2uibestow

9. Keith Mullins - Mistake

Out of all the new albums I've heard this year I think I've listend to Keith Mullins' album more than any other. It's a great collection of Americana tracks. I had 'Mistakes' playing in my head no spot for a week!

Keith Mullins - Mistakes by 2uibestow

10 Reader's Wives - Eyes Like a Hutu

I really love the attitude of this song taken from the recent EP Victor's Mother Juliet by Reader's Wives.

Reader's Wives - Eyes Like A Hutu by 2uibestow

BRB ..... July 10th